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July 2012 Researcher of the Month - Gurdip Daffu, PhD

Gurdip Daffu, PhD

Current Research:
Atherosclerosis development is accelerated several fold in patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes and is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with diabetes. There is a relative dearth of diabetes-specific cardiovascular therapies indicating that new therapeutic targets for diabetic atherosclerosis are needed. Our group has shown that the Receptor for Advanced Glycation Endproducts (RAGE) plays a key role in diabetic atherosclerosis and studies have demonstrated that RAGE null diabetic mice have significantly reduced atherosclerosis.

The goal of my research is to determine how RAGE regulates the cholesterol transporter ABCG1 in mouse bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDMs) and to further probe this mechanism of regulation by determining if RAGE regulation of ABCG1 is exerted on transcriptional factors. We will elucidate the molecular mechanism in which RAGE regulates ABCG1 and define novel gene regulatory roles for RAGE in diabetic atherosclerosis.
 

Publications:
Daffu G
, Macdonald J, Lopez P, Katz F, Vinogradov M, Deng S, Katsen S, Lenz D, Landry D. (2012) Site-specific PEGylation of bacterial phosphotriesterase - an approach to nerve agent detoxification. –Manuscript in preparation

Daffu G, Sohi J, Kamholz J. (2012) The Proteolipid Protein-specific domain alters transmembrane helix interactions: implications for the pathogenesis of Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease and the evolution of myelin. Neuroscience Research—In Revision.

Touré F, Fritz G, Li Q, Rai V, Daffu G, Zou YS, Rosario R, Ramasamy R, Alberts AS, Yan SF, Schmidt AM. (2012) The Formin mDia1 Mediates Vascular Remodeling via Integration of Oxidative & Signal Transduction Pathways. Circulation Research 110(10):1279-93.
 

Abstracts and meetings attended:
Daffu G
, Macdonald J, Lopez P, Katz F, Vinogradov M, Deng S, Katsen S, Lenz D, Landry D. (2010) Site-specific PEGylation of bacterial phosphotriesterase - an approach to nerve agent detoxification. The 2010 Chemical and Biological Defense Science and Technology Conference, Orlando, Florida, November 15-19th, 2010.

Daffu G, Macdonald J, Lopez P, Katz F, Vinogradov M, Deng S, Lenz D, Landry D. (2010) Site-specific PEGylation of bacterial phosphotriesterase - an approach to nerve agent detoxification. American Society for Neurochemistry 41st Annual Meeting, Santa Fe, New Mexico, March 6-10th, 2010.

Daffu G, Sohi J and Kamholz J. Structural Changes Conferred by the Proteolipid Protein Specific Domain in Central Nervous System Myelin. Poster presentation at the Myelin Gordon Research Conference, Il Ciocco, Tuscany, Italy, May 4th-9th, 2008.

Daffu G, Sohi J and Kamholz J. Proteolipid Protein, But Not DM20, Forms Cysteine-Linked Dimers In Vivo. Poster presentation at The Canadian EndMS Research Conference, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, Banff, Alberta, Canada, December 10-13th, 2007.

Daffu G, Sohi J and Kamholz J. Proteolipid Protein, But Not DM20, Forms Cysteine-Linked Dimers In Vivo. Poster presentation at The Sixth Great Lakes Glia Meeting, Traverse City, Michigan, September 29th-October 1st, 2007.

Daffu G, Sohi J and Kamholz J. Proteolipid Protein, But Not DM20, Forms Cysteine-Linked Dimers In Vivo. Poster presentation at the 2007 Myelin Development & Function Satellite Conference, Chichen-Itza, Yucatan, Mexico, August 15th- 19th, 2007.

Daffu G and Kamholz J. (2006) Proteolipid Protein Interacts With Itself To Form Multimers. J Neurochem, 96(1): 53.

Daffu G, Sohi J and Kamholz J. Oligomerization of Proteolipid Protein and Pelizaeus-Merzbacher Disease-Causing Mutants. Poster presentation at the 37th American Society for Neurochemistry Annual Meeting, Portland, Oregon, March 11-15th, 2006.

Daffu G and Kamholz J. Proteolipid Protein Interacts With Itself To Form Multi- Mers. Poster presentation at The Fifth Great Lakes Glia Meeting, Traverse City, Michigan, Oct. 8-10, 2005.

Daffu G, Sohi J, Jain M, and Kamholz J. The Role of the PLP- Specific Domain in Pelizaeus-Merzbacher Disease-Causing Mutations. Poster presentation at the 8th Annual Graduate Student Research Day, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, Michigan on September 23rd, 2004.

Daffu G, Sohi J, Jain M, and Kamholz J. The Role of the PLP- Specific Domain in Pelizaeus-Merzbacher Disease-Causing Mutations. Poster presentation at the 2004 Annual Society for Neuroscience-Michigan Chapter Meeting, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan on April 30th, 2004.

Daffu G, Jain M, Sohi J, Garbern J, and Kamholz J. Mechanisms of Folding and Misfolding in Proteolipid Protein. Poster presentation at the 33rd Annual Society for Neuroscience Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana, November 2003.

Daffu G, Jain M, Sohi J, Garbern J, and Kamholz J. Mechanisms of Folding and Misfolding in Proteolipid Protein. Poster presentation at the 2003 Annual Society for Neuroscience-Michigan Chapter Meeting, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan on April 30th, 2003.


Future Plans:
While a highly significant increase in the incidence of diabetes is expected, there is still a need for a more comprehensive understanding of the complications of diabetes mellitus. Pursuing the mechanisms of this disease at the molecular level will lead to novel therapeutics. My goal is to understand macrovascular and microvascular mechanisms underlying cardiovascular diabetes.

Ultimately, I strive to investigate the regulation of genes that are significantly altered in cardiovascular diabetes to eventually advance therapeutic treatment. I have chosen a career in academia because I thrive in a teaching environment and enjoy sharing my knowledge. I believe it is very important to pass on knowledge and skills to the next generation of scientists.